Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 11, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 13

OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, December 11, 2021 
13 OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, December 11, 2021 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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I remember writing some sort of paper in Junior 
High School bemoaning the fact that most Americans 
didn’t follow politics very much. Nevertheless, I was 
pretty sure that it didn’t make much difference. Why it 
didn’t make any difference was that I believed that the 
American system guaranteed that we would all be taken 
care with both sides only nominating capable responsible 
people ready to do their best. What happened to 
that belief—to that security I experienced and to my belief 
that life was getting better and better. (Sarah Palin 
isn’t the answer but her nomination did not help.) 

I believed that all I had to do was try hard in School and do my daily paper 
routes and life would take care of itself. I admit that I felt a little guilt about the 
ease of my own life as compared to my father’s and grandmother’s lives. I knew 
they came from another country where they had not even been allowed to go to 
School and lived in fear for their own lives. I knew they had survived the depression 
and I knew that even my mother was unable to finish High School because her 
family could not afford the fifteen cents necessary for bus fare. I knew about the 
Concentration Camps killing Jews in Europe but that happened a long time ago, 
more than ten years at least. Now, however, was a new time and my whole family 
had struggled to create a good life for me 

So what happened to this awareness? I do not feel fortunate or confident 
now. The major change, I think, is that I am not confident that things will get better. 
I do not believe that the politicians or the political parties, or the corporations 
are interested in very much other than making more money and accumulating 
more power. Worst of all I don’t believe anybody. In the battle of Covid virus 
versus science and all Man’s accumulated knowledge I feel like willful ignorance is 
winning and still people are complacent and accepting. I am extraordinarily depressed 
when I hear people in their twenties and thirties say they want no children 
because “who would want to bring a new child into this world”. Worse yet, to me, 
are the younger generational folk who say they don’t want to have children because 
it would be too disruptive to their careers or vacation plans? To me this is generational 
confusion connected to habits of abundance and a belief in entitlement. 

Maybe the problems are more connected to attitudes than to beliefs. Somehow 
the whole country expected that life would be pretty easy for us absolutely not 
recognizing how hard previous generations had worked to put us where we are. I 
don’t think life was easy and it never was. I know there is a reason I keep a picture 
of my father in army uniform and CCC uniform on my bedroom wall. I know a 
great many of us keep pictures of our deceased parents and grandparents on our 
walls and that those pictures remind us of how much we were cared for. We have 
a debt to pay and that debt can only be paid by maintaining a positive attitude toward 
our own lives and doing the best we can to assist our children in maintaining 
the attitude necessary to enjoy their own lives. Do you realize what a wonderful 
opportunity our life was and still is?

 Often, I hear my wife repeatedly say to our granddaughter “You can do it” 
and then seeing my grandaughter’s triumph, face her fears, slide down the scary 
slide and then loudly proclaim, “I strong—I brave”. It is bravery that is necessary 
to face maturity and the realization that the world will not take care of us. We have 
to take care of ourselves. The way we do it is through our own attitudes as we face 
the challenges presented to us. Be strong, be brave and accept the gift of life and 
value it and pass it on. 


Our time is the best gift we can give to our friends and family this 

Nobody knows how much time we have on Earth — nobody 
knows when our time will end. 

We all have friends and loved ones who were claimed way too early. 

Hopefully, you are blessed, as my family has been, to have loved 
ones who have lived long and fruitful lives. 
Such family members have an abundance of wisdom to share — wisdom cultivated over 


I particularly enjoy the pearls of humorous wisdom my 88-year-old father has shared: 

“Getting old ain’t for cowards!” 

“At my age, never buy green bananas.” 

“When life serves you a lemon, make lemonade — but crack open a Pabst Blue Ribbon 


My mother has long been a source of positive energy, hope and inspiration. She is forever 

forging ahead, forever looking for a silver lining. 

So many times as a child — and later as an adult — she corrected me when I got lost in 

the moodiness of my self-perceived failures and pushed me to keep on going. 

Life is hard for everyone at times. It is not easy to maintain my mother’s stubbornly posi

tive mindset, but she powers on, demanding the rest of us to do likewise. 

Hopefully, your extended family is also as equally blessed as mine is by young family 

members who offer their own kind of innocent wisdom. 

Children are filled with a natural sense of wonder, joy and hope. They especially love 

visiting Grandma and Grandpa — my Mom and Dad. 

That makes perfect sense to me. Kids and old folks have a natural connection. 

It’s those of us in the middle of time — from our teens up through middle age — who are 

caught up in the seriousness of a worldly world. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap so many of us are stuck in. We seek success, praise, financial 

security, nicer houses and more and more stuff. 

What we don’t see is that while the youngest and the oldest members of our families 
spend their time on wonder, hope and laughter we are wasting too much of our precious 
time on acquiring worldly things. 

Nobody ever said on his deathbed, as the old humorous saying goes, “I wish I’d spent 

more time at the office!” 

According to Lifehack, here are some other common deathbed regrets: 

– “I wish I had kept on going.” Refer to my mother’s guidance, above, on how to avoid 
having this regret. 
– “I wish I told others how much I love them.” Add to this, “I wish I’d spent more time 
with those I love.” 
– “I wish I had laughed it off.” This third regret is particularly helpful now, as so many 
of us are so angry constantly about politics and other matters that, in the end, are not 
deserving of the high importance we have granted them. 
The Christmas season is upon us and time is the very best gift we can give. 

Rather than material goods or money, why not write up a series of IOUTs (I owe you 

time) to give to others: 

– I’ll make you your favorite dinner. 
– I’ll help you clean your gutters twice a year, then join you for tea. 
– I’ll go walking with you once every week. 
Our time is priceless. This Christmas let’s share it like the fleeting treasure that it is. 

Tom Purcell is an author and humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Email 

him at 



Several years ago I decided to conduct an experiment 
with the first grade class where my son and daughter, 
Alex and Olivia respectively, were going to school. 

Here’s the plan: Recite the first half of a proverb to the 
class and invite the first graders fill in the rest. Who knew 
where it might go? (By the way, a proverb is defined as: “a 
short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth 
or piece of advice.”) 


I will recite the actual proverbs followed by the student’s response. You have 

to trust me when I say, these were the actual comments by this pedagogic 

experiment. Please try to apply these timeless truths to your own life. 

The actual proverbs: 

Better to be safe than…………….sorry! 
Strike while the…………….iron is hot! 
It’s always darkest before……..the dawn! 
Never underestimate the power of…a 

Don’t bite the hand that……feeds you! 
A miss is as good as a………mile.! 
You can’t teach an old dog…new tricks! 
If you lie down with dogs, you………..

get up with fleas! 
Love all, but trust…………...a few! 
An idle mind is.…the devil’s plaything! 
Where there’s smoke, there’s……….fire! 
A penny saved is…….a penny earned! 
Two is company, three’s……….a crowd! 
Children should be seen and not……. 


If at first you don’t succeed…try, try 
You get out of something what you……

put into it! 
When the blind lead the blind…………. 
both shall fall into a ditch! 

The proverbs from the first grader’s 

Better to be safe than………………. 
punch a 5th grader! 

Strike while the…………….bug is close! 
It’s always darkest before……....daylight 
savings time! 

Never underestimate the power of……
Don’t bite the hand that……looks dirty! 
A miss is as good as a…………mr.! 

You can’t teach an old dog………math! 

If you lie down with dogs, 
you…………..will stink in the morning! 
Love all, but trust…………………! 
An idle mind is.…..the best way to relax! 
Where there’s smoke, there’s………….

A penny saved is………….not much! 
Two is company, three’s……………….

the musketeers! 

Children should be seen and not………. 
spanked or grounded! 
If at first you don’t succeed……………

get new batteries! 

You get out of something what you……
see pictured on the box! 
When the blind lead the blind…………. 

get out of the way! 
Laugh and the whole world laughs with 

you. Cry and……you have to blow your 
Some deep questions worth pondering 

for even deeper meaning. 

Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way it 
Have you ever imagined a world with no 

hypothetical situations? 
How does the snowplow driver get to 

work on snowy days? 
If a cow laughed, would milk come 

out of her nose? 
If nothing sticks to Teflon, how do 

they make Teflon stick to the pan? 
Why do they put Braille dots on the 

keypad at the drive up ATMs? 
Why are there flotation devices under 

airplane seats and not parachutes? 
Why do we drive on parkways and 

park on driveways? 

I hope you are all enjoying the Holiday Season. Support the local businesses 
all you can. Always a good idea. That includes the retail establishments, restaurants 
and any other business you can do business with. Bring joy to our 
city employees including the Police Department and Fire Department. 

And thank you for the privilege of writing to you. My goal is to give you 
reason to chuckle. But also to pass it on to friends and relatives and enjoy the 
feeling of making other people laugh. 

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